Your wedding is one of the most special times in your life. But if you’re not careful…it can turn out to be not so eco-friendly. Have you ever thought about all the behind the scenes specifics that go into making a beautiful wedding come to life?
Think about it for a second…every detail, every piece of fabric, every ounce of paper, every food choice, your venue selection, each flower, and even your choice of transportation, and the distance your guests have to travel, all of this and more has an impact on the environment.
Today I’m continuing my series on doing your part for the environment by creating an entire or partially green wedding. If you didn’t see week one on “Eco-Chic Gowns”, be sure to go have a look-see here. I’ve narrowed down a lovely selection of eco-friendly gown designers I know you’ll love.
With week two of this green series, I’m talking about choosing “Eco-Beautiful” flowers.
“Eco-Beautiful flowers? What does that mean? Aren’t all flowers Eco-friendly?
You would think so. But unfortunately, not all flower options are kind to the environment or the people who help bring them to you. Let me explain.
Buy Local and Organically Grown Flowers
When you buy flowers without insisting on use of local resources, most of time your flowers will come from South America or other countries, drenched in chemical preservatives, and shipped under refrigeration from halfway around the world. All of that takes a lot of energy and a lot of chemicals to make sure the flowers last long enough to use by the time they arrive.
By using local growers, flowers can get to us quickly without excess use of energy while still fresh and with little or no chemicals and no need for refrigeration. So, by buying locally from growers who grow organically, you are helping to cut down on the use of harsh chemicals and energy for refrigeration as well as cutting out pollution from all the forms of transportation it would take to get your flowers to you.
And…as a side benefit, you will be stimulating your economy and supporting local businesses. And who wouldn’t like that, right?
Choose Flowers That Are In Season
One of the biggest things you will have to do if you are looking to have a green wedding is to learn to be flexible. Let’s say, for example, since you were a little girl you’ve imagined your wedding filled to the brim with gorgeous peonies. I mean, you are positively set on having pretty light pink peonies everywhere. But, you’ve planned your wedding for November when peonies are not available in the northern hemisphere. Of course your florist could probably get them for you at a very high cost. But going such a route would be so grossly “anti-eco-kind” for just about every reason mentioned in this post and more.
But here’s where learning to be flexible can come in handy. As your florist will tell you, there are many “peony like” options available year round, from local sources who grow organically. One option very close to the peony is a cabbage rose, which is available year round. So…while you may not be able to get the exact flower you had originally wanted, you can always get something similar and be kind to the environment as well. How nice is that?
Grow Your Own Flowers
With enough time, you could plant and grow all the flowers for your wedding yourself, in your yard or a co-op garden. A couple of friends of ours did this a few years ago and it turned out just beautifully.
Their wedding was held on the hillside of the groom’s parents house which overlooked the city in which we live. The yard and view was already gorgeous, but the bride and groom wanted to add something special so they planted giant sunflowers along the ridge of the hillside. When the flowers grew in, they created a beautiful backdrop and alter for the ceremony which couldn’t have been more perfect.
If you’re interested in planting and growing flowers for your wedding, talk to your local garden supply center about what you’re looking to do. If you don’t have access to the land where you are getting married and can’t plant flowers like my friends did, or if you don’t have a yard yourself, do a search on the Internet for co-op or community gardens in your area.
Buy Flowers From Fair Trade Suppliers
While it’s best to either grow your own or buy local, if you absolutely have to have a type of flower for your wedding that you cannot get locally…make sure the flowers are obtained through Fair Trade. About 80% of cut flowers sold in the United States are grown in Latin America, South America, and Africa. Workers are often exploited to keep costs low, leading to severe abuse and mistreatment. Fair Trade creates a sustainable business model that guarantees social justice, environmental protection and economic development.
With Fair Trade…farms, employees, and communities participate in global trade with sustainability and integrity. It’s a win, win!
Consider Handcrafting Your Floral Arrangements
And last but not least, handcrafting your own broach, fabric, button, or paper arrangements is another fantastic way to be eco-kind and still have one gorgeous wedding. For obvious reasons, making your own arrangements is as green as green can be. Here’s a really neat option for handcrafting your own centerpieces.
But another great advantage is that handcrafted items will not wilt and with care…they could last forever.
With all of these options, be sure to talk to your florist or garden center and let them know you’re interested in green options for your wedding flowers.
And remember, by making small adjustments and being flexible in what you absolutely need, you can do your part to create the beautiful wedding of your dreams and be “eco-kind” as well.
Thanks for stopping by!